LUTHER AT HOME.
DR. STORK'S WRITINGS.
HOME- SCENES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
GELZER'S LIFE OF LUTHER.
Edited, with an Introduction.
CHILDREN OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
JESUS IN THE TEMPLE.
THE UNSEEN WORLD.
LUTHER AT HOME.
Luther at Home.
fORK, D. D.
LUTHERAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION.
. Si 3
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
LUTHERAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
STEREOTYPED BY J. FAGAN & SON, PHILADELPHIA.
CAXTON PRESS OF SHERMAN & CO.
r I ^HESE pen and picture sketches are de-
signed to familiarize the young with the
most beautiful and instructive aspects and inci-
dents of Luther's home-life. It is hoped, morever,
that this portraiture of the great Reformer, as he
appears in the privacy of home, will serve, in
some measure, to counteract the tendency to in-
dividualism in our day, and to expose the van-
dalism that would substitute the freedom of
affinities for the sacred bonds of matrimony, and
break the wedding-ring as a superstitious symbol.
No doubt there are inhumanities sheltered
under the very sacredness of the domestic re-
lations ; but everything has its shadow, and evils
mingle with all human relations, and there are
sometimes grievous wrongs and oppressions
perpetrated under the very sanctity of the home-
life. But surely we are not, on this account, to
I * V
break the sacred bonds of the marriage relation,
and set the family group adrift in some vague
conceit of social freedom or some nonsense of
spiritual affinities : this would be like knocking
a ship to pieces because some of the passengers
are sea-sick. " This organism of the family is
a ship that has carried human civilization over
the waves of ages — an ark that has preserved
the germs of the social state in many a deluge.
Sunder the ties that hold it together, and who
can estimate the ruin, or from the shattered
fragments reconstruct society ? "
The example of Luther may also suggest and
practically illustrate what a beauty and blessed-
ness belong to a truly Christian domestic life.
How much there is to love and to enjoy in a
true home ; and what divergent lines of destiny
reach out from the cradle to immortal issues.
And then it may suggest, to all who are mar-
ried, the importance of having a home. There
may be, to some, a necessity of boarding. But
where such a sort of living is matter of choice
from a love of ease or . luxury, of fashion or a
morbid fondness for society, then it cannot be
too strongly deprecated. Better, it seems to us,
that the family should live in a shanty, which
they can call their own home, than in the state-
liest mansion open to everybody ; which is like
lodging on the house-top and eating in the street.
Especially does tender childhood need the dews
of domestic influences, and cannot unfold sweetly
and naturally in the gairish sunlight and the
rude contacts of the roadside.
There is yet another thing suggested in this
home- life of Luther, and that is, that every
family needs the love and care of a father's
heart. With all that a mother may do, the
home that does not feel a father's loving sympa-
thy is not a home. No man can have such
grand enterprises, and such cares and toils, as
absorbed the thoughts and busied the hands of
Luther. And yet he found time and a heart
for the pleasures and enjoyments of domestic
life. No man has a right to let his entire heart
melt away in business, and carry none of it home
with him. There never was a business interest
yet that ought to put out the light on the
hearth-stone, or disarm a father, in the midst of
his children, of kindness, cheerfulness, hope, and
We trust this humble effort to portray the
home-life of the great Reformer may, at least,
awaken the inquiry in every reader : " What is
home to me f " And as you follow Luther as he
appears in these pen pictures and home scenes,
will you allow and ponder the questions : " Is
home a place of serious thought as well as of
love and gladness ? Have you an altar of prayer
there? Is it overarched by the presence of
God, and brightened by His benediction ? Do
you comprehend the meaning of the commu-
nions that are brightened by its fire-light, of
the shadowy memories that fresco its walls ? Is
it a little thing to you that the cry of birth has
been heard beneath its roof, that the mystery of
death has descended into its chambers? Is
there no solemnity as well as gladness in the
relations of husband and wife, of father and
mother — a solemnity that links time to eter-
nity, and earth with heaven ? Is not home full
of incentives, full of voices calling to duty and
love, to faith and prayer?"
The Home-Life of Martin Luther. . .13
Marriage. . . . . . . 27
Singing with his Family. . . . -47
Summer Joys with His Family. . . . 85
Winter Pleasures. 1 1 1
Home in Sorrow. 133
O man since the time of Paul has
occupied so much of human thought,
or so lived in the grateful memory of
the Christian world, as Martin Luther.
His eventful life of noble words and heroic
deeds is the grandest fact of modern his-
tory. His confession of the true faith is
still shaping the religious sentiment of the
evangelical Church; and his ideal of per-
sonal liberty is still felt in every pulse of
2 . *3
14 THE HOME-LIFE OF
human freedom and every step of Christian
No eulogy of marble or of song can ade-
quately celebrate the greatness of his work
for the Church and the world.
" Nothing can cover his high fame but Heaven ;
No monument set off his memories
But the eternal substance of his greatness."
Ours is an humbler and all the more
grateful, and perhaps needful, task of por-
traying Luther's domestic life.
The stern and unique grandeur of his
public life only makes one the more curious
to see how that life looks in the privacy of
home; for the household is the home of
the man as well as of the child. And what
the man is there, is not only a truer revela-
tion of himself, but it is nearer and dearer
to us than any public events of his life
which make his fame and attract the admi-
MARTIN LUTHER. 1 5
ration of the world. The events of domes-
tic life are in the line and sympathy of our
own living. What are called public events
may or may not be ours in any sense of a
common thought or feeling. Hence the
home-life of great men has always a peculiar
and universal interest. And for the same
reason The Cotter's Saturday Night has
about it such a charm, simply because it is
so human, and touches in us so many home
feelings and memories.
We can have no true idea of Luther, as
a man, apart from his home-life. In the
flush and excitement of his public career,
he is the creature of passion and impulse,
and moves in a sort of artificial light, so
that he is seen in that elusive and mystic
haze of glory that excludes any true vision
and estimate of the man. It is only when
he is out of this fictitious glare of public
life, and in the quiet, unaffected habitudes
l6 THE HOME-LIFE OF
of home, with his wife and children, that
we see him as he really is.
It is said that a man of letters is often a
man of two natures, — the one a book
nature, the other a human nature, — and
the two are sometimes in painful antago-
nism. Hence we hear so much of the in-
felicities of great men in their domestic
life. And when one reads of the unhappy
homes of Moliere and Rousseau, and the
ungenial firesides of such men as Dante,
Milton, Addison, and Steele, and even of
the sainted Hooker, it might well make us
timid in lifting the veil from the home of
the immortal Reformer, lest some infeli-
cities of his private life should dim the
glory of his public career. But, on the other
hand, some of the sweetest pictures of hu-
man life are found among those which rep-
resent the homes of great men who mar-
ried happily. And among all the honored
MA R TIN L UTHER. I?
homes of history, there is none more genial
and happy than that of the great Reformer.
Looking at Luther as he appeared in pub-
lic, and prior to any knowledge of his pri-
vate life, we might come to a very different
conclusion. Seeing him as he appears in
exciting controversy, when his very words
were battles, and in his fulminations against
a rotten priesthood and a despotic hierarchy,
or with his stern look and defiant attitude be-
fore the Diet of Worms, we might take him
for a man with a heart of stone and nerves
of steel. And yet such an inference would
be as unsound in theory as we happily know
it is false in fact. "True greatness," says
Lavater, "is always simple and tender."
Homer, the matchless painter of men, rep-
resents Ajax, the bravest, and Ulysses, the
wisest, as often weeping. And Luther,
whose heroic deeds shook the very founda-
tions of the mightiest kingdom, was as
18 THE HOME-LIFE OF
gentle and loving in his social life as a
Carlyle, with his keen, philosophic eye,
seems to see this blending of the hero and
the child, the fearless daring and winsome
gentleness, in the very face and physique
of the great Reformer. He says : " Luther's
face is to me expressive of him : in Cra-
nach's best portraits I find the true Luther.
A rude, plebeian face, with its huge crag-
like brows and bones, the emblem of rugged
energy; at first almost a repulsive face.
Yet in the eyes especially there is a wild,
silent sorrow — an unnamable melancholy,
the element of all gentle and fine affections —
giving to the rest the true stamp of noble-
ness." And then in his peculiar style and
imagery he goes on to give his own por-
traiture of Luther in a few bold outlines
and exquisite touches. "I will call this
Luther a true Great Man ; great in intel-
MA R TIN L U THE R. 1 9
lect, in courage, affection, and integrity ;
one of our most lovable and precious men.
Great, not as a hewn obelisk, but as an
Alpine mountain — so simple, honest, spon-
taneous, not setting up to be great at all ;
there for quite another purpose than being
great ! Ah, yes, unsubduable granite, pierc-
ing far and wide into the heavens ; yet in
the cleft of it, fountains, green, beautiful
valleys, with flowers ! " Again, he says :
"A most gentle heart withal, full of pity
and love, as indeed the truly valiant heart
ever is. I know few things more touching
than those soft breathings of affection, soft
as a child's or mother's, in this great wild
heart of Luther."
This is substantially the view of Luther
given by Heine, the pensive but brilliant
poet of Germany: "Then he had qualities
which are seldom found united, which we
are accustomed to regard as irreconcilable
20 THE HO ME- LIFE OF
antagonisms. He was at the same time a
dreamy mystic and a practical man of ac-
tion. . . . When he had plagued himself
all day long with his doctrinal distinctions,
in the evening he took his flute, and gazed
at the stars, dissolved in melody and devo-
tion. He could be soft as a tender maiden.
Sometimes he was wild as the storm that
uproots the oak, and then again he was
gentle as the zephyr that dallies with the
Perhaps the truest as well as the most
comprehensive of all portraitures of Luther
is that of Melancthon, in which he says that
Luther's character is delineated in those
words of St. Paul : " Whatsover things are
true, whatsoever things are honest, whatso-
ever things are just, whatsoever things are
pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatso-
ever things are of good report."
And yet comparatively few seem to un-
MARTIN LUTHER. 21
derstand "whatsoever things are lovely " in
Luther's character. A short time since a
distinguished minister affirmed in his pul-
pit that Luther was too sombre and one-
sided. That he was a great man, and had
done great things for the Church, but that
he was altogether too sober and narrow,
and lacked the genial mirth and sunny side
of a full and rounded manhood. This was
a total misconception of the Reformer. For
of all distinguished men absorbed in great
idetis of reform, and intent upon their ac-
complishment, Luther was the most genial
and sunny in his private life. He was many-
sided, and touched all life with a quick and
responsive sympathy peculiar to himself.
If it be true that " the child is father of
the man," then there must be in the true
man something, of the child-nature. The
childhood, in its loves and fancies and sym-
pathies, must live on in the true manhood
22 THE HOME-LIFE OF
of the man. And so it appears pre-emi-
nently in Luther. He had all the sim-
plicity of a child in his love of nature and
flowers and music. This phase of his life
will come out more fully as we proceed to
look at Luther in his family. For it is when
great men are free from the affectations
and conventionalisms that belong to public
life, that they appear in their true and sim-
ple manhood ; for there
/'The man is never in his name absorbed, —
Chained like a captive to his own renown."
Such a man was fitted alike for the great
deeds of the Reformation and the quiet
pleasures of social and domestic life. He
could pass gracefully from the gaze and ad-
miration of the multitude to sport with his
children as he had sported with crowns,
and to cultivate his little garden at Witten-
berg with the same earnestness he had em-
MARTIN LUTHER. 2$
ployed to convert Eck or Zwingle. In the
language of Audin, the brilliant French
Romanist: " It must be a curious chapter in
the history of the human heart to behold
the quiet occupations of this monk, whom
Charles V. was not able to subdue, who
dared to insult Henry VIII., and whose ob-
stinacy Leo X., Adrian, and Clement had
not been able to overcome ; — but who, in
the midst of his family, seemed to have lost
all recollection of his past glory, and was
willing to be concealed from the world that
he might enjoy the delights of love and
friendship, and give to the world the exam-
ple of the domestic virtues which Plutarch
so much loved to describe."
" A husband in the great Reformer see,
Like Martin Luther, and like nothing more !
Looks he less lofty to those hearts which love
The sterling and the true, when playful seen
In the mild sunshine of a married state?"
|HE Reformer's true home life began
with his marriage. To this import-
ant step he was prompted, not so much
from natural inclination, as from the urgent
wishes of his aged father and his own per-
sonal convictions of duty. He believed that
he was called to the marriage state not only
as a man, but as a reformer. The enforce-
ment of celibacy on the clergy was, in his
now enlightened views, not only wrong in
itself, but productive of enormous immo-
rality. His study of the Bible, as well as
his knowledge of the impurity of the reli-
gious orders for centuries, led him to re-
gard marriage as the natural and healthy
state in which clergy as well as laity were
intended to live. It was the condition in
which humanity was at once purest and
It was with such views he determined to
marry. He said : " We may be able to live
unmarried ; but in these days we must pro-
test in deed as well as in word against the
doctrine of celibacy. It is an invention of
Satan." His friend Schurff, the lawyer,
said: "If this monk should marry, he will
make all the world and the devil himself
burst with laughter, and will destroy the
work so grandly begun." This sarcasm
only strengthened Luther in his purpose,
and boldly raising his head, he exclaimed :
"Well, then, I will do it; I will play the
devil and the world this trick ; I will con-
tent my father and marry Catharine."
Catharine von Bora, whom he chose for
his wife, was a nun of good family, left
homeless by the breaking up of her con-
vent. How it happened that Luther and
Catharine came together is happily told by
" E. B. S.," in the Lutheran Home Journal
" A tenant of the convent of Nimptisch,
in Saxony, she was snatched as it were from
a living death by the writings of the great
Reformer, whose works were read by the
nuns of this cloister by permission of the
Lady Abbess, with the pious design of
arousing in their minds an abhorrence of
the wicked heretic Luther. But the beau-
tiful Ketha, with eight of her companions,
arose from their perusal and study to bless
Luther, who brought to them the joyful
news of a free and full salvation. They all
fled from the convent, and Ketha found
protection and a refuge with the Burgomas-
ter of Wittenberg, and also with Philip and
Margaret Melancthon. While sojourning
with her truly Christian friends, the lovely
Catharine had several distinguished suitors
for the honor of her hand, but she re-
quested of her friend Margaret that she
might not be persecuted with their unde-
sired attentions, as her heart could never
be interested in any of them ; and with a
true woman's tact, Margaret perfectly un-
derstood her friend, whom she not a little
annoyed by her playful pleasantries con-
cerning the ' terrible Luther's ' monkish
notions. For, although not approving of
the celibacy of the monks and clergy, he
had, it seems, considered the question set-
tled that he was not to marry. At this time
he must have been about forty years old,
and Margaret intuitively perceived that the
young Ketha's enthusiastic veneration for
her unseen liberator possessed the germs
of an incipient, yet faithful and blessed at-
tachment. It was rather a curious circum-
stance, that of Luther's being employed by
Catharine's most persevering admirer to
plead for him, and secure an interest in the
heart of the reluctant fair one. He under-
took the matter, supposing that some reli-
gious scruples were in the way, and he was
not a little surprised and puzzled at Catha-
rine's continued inflexibility. But
' The bard has sung, God never formed a soul
Without its own peculiar mate, to meet
Its wandering half, when ripe to crown the whole
Bright plan of bliss, most heavenly, most complete !'
And thus was the surprised and grateful
Luther led to his Ketha, the crowning star
of his eventful life of toil and labor."
In the beautiful month of June, 1525, in
a private chapel of the house of the Regis-
trar of Wittenberg, Luther was married to
Catharine von Bora. As represented in
Kcenig's picture, " the jurist, Apel, and the
great painter, Cranach, stand on either side ;
Bugenhagen blesses the plighted troth of
Luther and Catharine, who kneel before
him, she with her long hair flowing over
her shoulders, and the marriage-wreath on
her brow, her face meekly and thoughtfully
bent downward ; he holding her right hand
in his, his left pressing on his heart, and his
eyes turned to heaven." *
No one can look at this picture,
"Where his devoted heart
The wedded Luther to his Ketha gave,"
without being impressed with the moral
beauty and heavenly sanctity of marriage,
We experience an indefinable pleasure in
*Dr. Krauth's Conservative Reformation.
viewing Luther in this quiet, touching heart-
scene, in contrast with his previous lonely
and stormy life. It is like passing from the
bleak, cold desolation of winter into the
genial and flowery spring. And then we
feel, too, the meaning and moral influences
of that quiet bridal scene in the household
chapel in Wittenberg. It was there Luther
laid the foundation of a family in the true
German and evangelical spirit. " From the
Augustine cloister at Wittenberg, which
had now become the residence of Luther
and his family, sprang the noblest germ of
social morality, and of the purest spirit of
German domestic life. This cloister-home
became the ideal type of numberless fami-
lies of Protestant Germany, and especially
of those numerous families of evangelical
ministers to whom German society is so
largely indebted for morality and piety." *
* Gelzer's Life of Luther.
It was as decided a step against Roman-
ism as the burning of the Papal Bull ; for
it was a solemn proclamation to the world
of the divine ordination of marriage for
priest and people, and a practical protest
by the leader of the Reformation against
the enormous evils of celibacy. No won-
der the Romanists raised such a hue and
cry against Luther, and well-nigh over-
whelmed him with all sorts of calumnies.
Some said that " Antichrist would be the
offspring of such a union; for it was pre-
dicted that he would be born of a monk and
a nun." To this Erasmus replied, with a
sarcastic smile : " If the prophecy be true,
what thousands of antichrists must already
exist in the world."
But while the Romanists denounced Lu-
ther for his marriage, there were many
friends who commended his course, and of-
fered him their heartfelt congratulations.
Melancthon, who was at first startled by
this bold step, afterwards said, with that
sweet, impressive voice to which even his
enemies listened with respect, " It is false
and slanderous to maintain that there is
anything unbecoming in Luther's marriage.
I think that in marrying he must have done
violence to his own wishes, impelled thereto
by conscience. A married life is one of
humility, but it is also a holy state, if there
be any such in the world ; and the Scrip-
tures everywhere represent it as honorable
and desirable in the eyes of the Lord."
Luther was happy in this union. He
used to say that the happiest life on earth
is with a pious, good wife ; in peace and
quiet, contented with a little, and giving
God thanks. Of his gentle and loving
Ketha, he said : " I value her more than the
kingdom of France or the wealth of the
Venetians." He could say, after years of
experience, and from his very heart :
"A wife becomes the truest, tenderest friend,
The balm of comfort and the source of joy,
Thro' every various turn of life the same."
The first three years of his wedded life
were spent in the quiet enjoyment of his
home, with his beloved Ketha by his side.
Those years of retirement were not lost, as
some supposed, for Luther was schooled in
heart culture and social refinement, and the
asperities of his nature were softened by
the gentle and affectional companionship
and ministries of Ketha. She won his
esteem by her mental culture, and charmed
his heart by her womanly graces. She
consoled him in his depressions by repeat-
ing passages from the Bible, relieved him
from all household cares, worked his por-
trait in embroidery, and, in his leisure mo-
ments, amused him by the naivete of her
questions. Luther's account of this is quite
amusing. He says: "The first year of
married life is an odd business. At meals,,
where you used to be alone, you are your-
self and somebody else. My Ketha used.
to sit with me when I was at work. She
thought she ought not to be silent. She did
not know what to say, so she would ask me :
" 'Herr doctor, is not the master of the
ceremonies in Prussia the brother of the
margrave ? ' "
She was an odd woman.
" Doctor," she said to him one day, "how
is it that under popery we prayed so often
and so earnestly, and now our prayers are
cold and seldom?"
Ketha might have spoken for herself.
Luther, to the last, spent hours every day
in prayer. He advised her to read the
Bible a little more. She said she had read
enough of it, and knew half of it by heart.
Catharine, as is common with an affec-
tionate wife, was too anxious about her
husband, for which Luther would some-
times gently and playfully reprove her. On
one occasion he shut himself up for three
days in his study. Catharine, feeling very
much troubled, looked for him all over the
house, knocking at every door, but without
success. At last she sent for a locksmith,
who forced open the study-door, and there
she found Luther, absorbed in his com-
mentary on the twenty-second Psalm. She
kindly reproved him for causing her so
much anxiety ; but he, pointing to the Bible,
said : " Do you think I was doing anything
bad ? Do you not know that I must work
as long as it is day, for the night cometh in
which no man can work ? "
On another occasion, in answer to an
anxious letter from his wife, he wrote :
" To my gracious lady, Catharine Luther,
my dear wife, who torments herself unne-
cessarily, grace and peace in our Lord Je-
sus Christ. Dear Ketha, thou oughtest to
read what St. John says in the catechism
upon the confidence we ought to have in
God. Thou art tormenting thyself, as if
He were not all-powerful, and could not
produce new Doctor Martins by the dozen,
if the old one should be drowned in the
Saale, or perish in any other manner.
There is One who takes better care of me
than thou, or even the angels of heaven
can do. He sits at the right hand of his
Father, and is all-powerful. Then quiet
During- the earlier years of his married
life Luther was very poor. According to
Michelet, his income never exceeded one
hundred and eight dollars. This may seem
strange, considering the immense sale of
his writings, and his eminent position in the
eyes of all Europe. But owing to a "con-
scientious whim," he would not take any-
thing for his manuscripts, and he received
no fixed salary from the university. About
two years after his marriage, writing to a
friend who had requested a loan of him, he
said : " You ask me for eight florins. Where
on earth am I to get eight florins ? As you
know, I am compelled to live with the strict-
est economy, and yet my want of means,
perhaps my want of care, has compelled
me to contract, during the past year, debts
amounting to more than a hundred florins,
which I must somehow and sometime repay
to various persons/'
Indeed, the straitened circumstances of
Luther obliged him to turn his hand to
manual labor in order to obtain his bread.
Speaking of this, he remarked: "Since
among us barbarians there is no man of
art to instruct us in better things, I and my
servant Wolfgang have set ourselves to the
business of turning, in our leisure mo-
And yet, in all the privations and anxie-
ties of almost abject poverty, Luther was
happy — happy in his faith, and happy in
his family. Writing to his friend Sliepel,
he said : " Catharine, my dear rib, salutes
thee. She is quite well, thank God ; gen-
tle, obedient, and kind in all things, far be-
yond all my hopes. I would not exchange
my poverty with her for all the riches of
Crcesus without her."
What we think and feel of such a wedded
life is best expressed in Luther's own words:
" There are no ties of society more beauti-
ful, more elevating, and happier than a well-
assorted marriage. It is a pleasure to be-
hold two people living together in wedlock
in harmony and love." And such was Lu-
ther's married life.
As they came from the chapel at Witten-
berg, with the benediction yet fresh upon
their wedded union, Luther might have ex-
pressed his feelings in those touching words
of the poet:
My wife, my life. Oh, we will walk this world
Yok'd in all exercise of noble aim,
And so through those dark gates across the wild
That no man knows."
And they did so walk. Their first affection
acquired greater depth and intensity by the
vanishing away of all that was merely ideal
or fanciful. And the very trials of life deep-
ened their mutual sympathies, and strength-
ened the clasping bonds of a sanctified love.
It is manifest that in a union so intimate
and life-long, revealing every phase of
character and mood of temper, there will
often be felt the need of the love that " is
not easily provoked, which suffereth long,
and is kind " — which has power to invest
the being loved with its own beauty, trans-
forming seeming blemishes into fancied vir-
tues. No doubt there was something of
this in Catharine's experience with a man
like Luther, so full of cares and troubles
from without, and withal so quick and sharp
and impulsive ; but she could say :
" My love doth so approve him,
That even his stubbornness, his checks and frowns,
Have grace and favor in them."
Such a love, hallowed by. religion, is the
very life of marriage, — the very bond of
perfectness. It is the fragrant blossom that
will not only gladden the heart, but beau-
tify the humblest home with the ministries
of peace and charity. And so Luther and
his beloved Ketha, by being one in Christ,
maintained this affectional and life -long
unity. Jesus, who came to open heavenly
mansions into our earthly habitations, was
their ever welcome and abiding guest, and
44 MA RRIA GE.
the atmosphere of their home was redolent
of His heavenly spirit. Thus they grew in
personal excellence, mutual affinity, and
spiritual oneness, to the end of life. This
assimilative growth in true Christian mar-
riage is beautifully expressed in those ex-
quisite lines of Tennyson :
' ' Yet in the long years liker must they grow ;
The man be more of woman, she of man :
He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world ;
She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care:
Move as the double-natured poet each :
Till at the last she set herself to man
Like perfect music unto noble words."
SINGING WITH HIS FAMLY.
LUTHER SINGING WITH HIS FAMILY.
God setteth the solitary in families."
HE Psalmist indicates a divine pur-
pose in placing the individual man
in domestic relations, and suggests the
meaning and importance of the family.
Luther was a scholar, a thinker, a Re-
former, before he had a home. But how
all his powers and sympathies were quick-
ened and intensified by the new affections
and solicitudes of a husband and a father !
What a new life he felt in the lives of his
children ; nay, what depths were opened,
what chords were touched, what enlarged
48 FA MIL Y.
vision was given by their departure from
Luther used to say that " many children
are a sign of God's blessing; and hence
you may see why Duke George has never
had any." Luther himself was certainly
not wanting in this token of heaven's favor.
He had six children : John, Elizabeth, Mad-
eleine, Martin, Paul, and Margaret. And
notwithstanding his studies, and his many
labors and anxieties for the Church, he not
only found time to sport with his children,
but was ever inventing new plays for their
diversion and amusement. And yet, child
as he was with his children in their sports
and pleasures, he never lost sight of the
divine order and religiousness of the house-
hold. He was careful to rear his children
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,
and daily repeated with them the Ten Com-
mandments, the Creed, and the Lord's
FA MIL Y. 49
Prayer. He was, moreover, very strict in
the Christian discipline of his children ; and
the first law of his house was their trustful
subjection to his will, and obedience in all
things. When his son John was twelve
years old, he was in some important in-
stance disobedient, and committed some
great wrong, on account of which Luther
for three days refused to have anything to
do with him, though he had meekly asked
his forgiveness in writing. Some of his
friends thought the discipline too severe.
And when Catharine, Dr. Jonas, and Dr.
Teutleben interceded for John, Luther said:
" I would rather have my son dead than
disobedient. St. Paul did not without rea-
son say that a bishop must rule his own
house well, and have obedient children, that
other people may be edified through them,
follow their example, and not be offended.
We ministers are honored so much that
50 FA MIL Y.
we might set a good example. But our
untrained children cause others td take of-
fence, and bad boys commit sin in virtue of
our privileges." *
Luther's home-life was a model of quiet
simplicity. He was sociable, cheerful, and
fond of innocent amusements. And not-
withstanding his large and expensive family
and his scanty income, he was the most
generous and hospitable of men. He was
surrounded at his table, not only by his
children, but by a number of intimate
friends. Melancthon, Jonas, Amsdorf, and
others of his co-laborers, were his frequent
and ever welcome guests, sharing alike in
his toils and his pleasures. And as Luther
was from habit and principle uncommonly
abstemious, he would talk and joke and
laugh while the company were enjoying the
provisions of the table, as well as his crisp
* Fick's Life of Luther, translated by Prof. Loy.
FA MIL Y. 51
humor and versatile conversation. At such
times, as Audin says, he would talk of phi-
losophy and demonology, biblical explana-
tions and poetry, morality and antichrist.
These conversations — Tischreden, Table-
Talk, collected by his friends — make one
of the most brilliant books in the world.*
The first years of Luther's married life,
though cheerful and happy, were not with-
out passing shadows of sorrow. But even
these afflictions, though grievous at the
time, afterwards yielded the peaceable fruits
of righteousness, and only deepened and
refined the affectional bonds and ministries
of the home -life. In 1527, his little son
John was attacked by the plague, which
had made its appearance in Saxony, and was
then raging in its most virulent form. In
a letter to Spalatin, he writes : " My little
favorite, John, does not salute thee, for he
*Froude's Times of Erasmus and Luther.
is still too ill to speak ; but through me he
solicits your prayers. For the last twelve
days he has not eaten a morsel. 'T is won-
derful to see how the poor child keeps up
his spirits ; he would manifestly be as gay
and joyous as ever, were it not for the ex-
cess of his physical weakness. However,
the crisis of his disease is now past."
Shortly after, Luther was himself attacked
with severe illness, evidently brought on by
the constant strain both of body and mind
which he had been called to endure for
many years. Recovering from a swoon
into which he had fallen, he turned to his
wife, and faintly said : " Dear Ketha, where
is my little darling, my little John ? " The
child, when brought to him, smiled upon its
father, who went on, speaking feebly, and
with tears : " My poor, dear little boy, I
commend thee heartily to our Lord ; thee
and thy good mother, my beloved Ketha.
I leave you nothing; but God, who feeds
the ravens, will care for you, — He who is
the father of the fatherless, and the widow's
God. Preserve them, O God! teach them'
as Thou hast taught me ! "
About six months after this sickness,
Ketha gave Luther a daughter; but her
stay on earth was short — like an angel's
visit, or a vision of the night.
"E'er sin could blight or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendly care ;
The op'ning bud to heaven conveyed,
And bade it blossom there."
Luther wrote to a friend : " My little
rosebud daughter Elizabeth is dead : 't is
wonderful how sick at heart her loss has
made me. I feel a mere woman, so great
is my sadness. I could never have
dreamed that a man's soul could be
touched with such tenderness, even to-
wards his child."
These early shadows of affliction and
death in Luther's family passed away, and
left the home with a serener light and a
warmer love ; for the overshadowing cloud
of death, as it passed away, was radiant
with the bow that
" Spans the earth, and forms a pathway to the skies."
We pass now to a peculiar feature of
the great Reformer's domestic life, as
illustrated by Kcenig's picture of
LUTHER SINGING AT HOME.
It is surely not without interest to know,
of a great thinker or worker, a great
Teacher or Reformer, that there was in
him, over and above all his special gifts
and endowments of mind, a sensitiveness
to the power of music. This is notable in
the great Apostle of the Gentiles, who was
not only a singer himself, but urged so
lovingly upon his converts the singing of
" psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs ; "
intimating that without music their ritual
would be cold and dead. Yes, in Paul, no
less than in the greatest of his followers,
in Augustine, in Luther, in the Wesleys,
we may see a great example of the power
of music, and learn to acknowledge in that
power a great gift of God.
The artist conducts us into Luther's
" Chantry in the House." Surrounded by
his children and a few friends, he is prac-
tising the first evangelical church melodies.
The man before the music-stand, with a
guitar in his hand, is Walter, the Electoral
Chapel-Master ; on the left is the Chanter,
holding an open sheet of music ; on the
right is Mathesius, a very intimate friend.
The picture not only gives us a glimpse
of Luther's enjoyment of music in his
family, but suggests how much that intro-
duction of German church music had to
do with the furtherance of evangelical re-
ligion. Luther was not only fond of
music, but was really an enthusiast in this,
as in everything that he loved. It made
him a poet and hymnist, and his songs
were the expression of the inmost heart
of the German people. We find scattered
through his writings many fragmentary
and beautiful sentiments about music.
" Music is one of the noblest gifts of
God. It is a good antidote against
temptation and evil thoughts."
" Music is the best cordial to a person
in sadness : it soothes, quickens, and re-
freshes the heart."
" I have always loved music. He that is
skilled in this art is possessed of good
qualities, and can be employed in any
Perhaps the most significant of all his
passages on music is the following :
" I am fully of the opinion, and am not
ashamed to maintain, that, next to theol-
ogy, music takes the highest rank in the
sciences ; because it alone, after theology,
does that which otherwise theology alone
does — it soothes the mind, and renders it
joyful and courageous ; which is an evi-
dence that the evil one, the author of sad
cares and unquiet emotions, flees at the
voice of music almost as much as at the
voice of theology. For this reason the
prophets cultivated no art so much as that
of music, and clothed their theology, not
in geometry or arithmetic or astronomy,
but in music."
Luther made music a part of his
domestic enjoyments and household wor-
ship. John Walter says : " I have sung
many a delightful hour with him ; and have
often observed how our beloved friend be-
came more and more cheerful as we sang,
and was so happy that it seemed he could
never get enough of it. He has himself
composed the chants to the Epistles and
Gospels ; has sung them to me, and asked
my opinion. He kept me three weeks in
Wittenberg, until the first German mass
had been chanted in the parish church."
Mathesius relates that the Doctor sang
at table as well as afterwards ; and often,
when weary and heart-sore, he would turn
to his guitar or lute, and rise up refreshed
and strengthened for his work. Once
during Advent, in 1538, when he had the
singers at table with him, and they sang
some beautiful pieces, he said with deep
emotion: "As our Lord pours out such
noble gifts upon us in this life, how glorious
will be eternal life ! This is only materia
prima — the beginning."
FA MIL Y. 59
Luther was never happier than when,
seated at his parlor - organ, the whole
family united with him in singing the
praises of God. It was like heaven on
earth. And sometimes after such music
in the family, he would say: "I love music :
it elevates me and makes me better, and
brings me nearer to the throne of God,
where the angels cry, Holy, holy, holy, day
There is a picture which represents Lu-
ther with his family singing their evening
hymn. The eldest son, John, is playing
the violin, as an accompaniment to the or-
gan, where his father is seated, whose be-
nignant countenance is beaming with love
upon his youngest boys, who are holding
fast by his instrument, and whose gladsome
hearts make their eyes sparkle with joy ;
whilst the serene mother, with the hymn-
book in her hand, bends fondly over Lu-
60 FA MIL Y.
ther's chair; and her little daughters are
standing meekly by her side, with hands
clasped in silent worship. Truly, as we
gaze upon that home-scene, we cannot but
feel that " Religion never was designed to
make our pleasures less."
" At once they sing, at once they pray,
They hear of heaven and learn the way."
LUTHER AS A HYMNIST.
But wider than his home, was the in-
fluence of his poetry and music. Luther
was a poet as well as a Reformer. He
performed noble deeds, which are but
noble thoughts realized. In this view,
Coleridge says: " He was a poet indeed, as
great a poet as ever lived in any age or
country; but his poetic images were so vivid
that they mastered the poet's own mind.
He was possessed with them, as with sub-
stances distinct from himself. Luther did
FAMILY. . 6 1
not write, he acted poems." Carlyle, on
"Luther's Psalms," says: "With words he
had not learned to make pure music; it
was by deeds of love and heroic valor that
he spoke freely Nevertheless, in imper-
fect articulation, the same voice, if we listen
well, is to be heard in his poems."
Luther was no doubt born a poet; but it
was in times of peril and tribulation that
the poetry in him blossomed into hymns.
"Are cradled into poetry by wrong,
And learn in suffering, what they teach in song."
So it was with Luther. We find the
translator and expounder and preacher of
the word of God giving the tone as the
spiritual poet of the Reformation. By the
adaptation of old German poems to the
service of the temple, and the translation
of Latin lyrics, as well as by his own ori-
ginal hymns, he became the Father of
psalmody — that beautiful blossom of Ger-
A small collection of his hymns was
first published at Wittenberg, in 1 524 ; and
another the year following. It was the
one great doctrine of salvation by faith in
Jesus, which he preached from the towers
of Erfurt, and before the Diet of Worms,
preached always and everywhere, woven
into hymns and spiritual songs, that helped
so wondrously the onward march of the
Others caught the spirit of Luther, and
became poets and singers. Not only in
palaces, cathedrals, and cloisters, but
among the common people everywhere
were found the friends of the Reformation.
Among this worthy class there was a
notable shoemaker — one Hans Sachs, of
Nuremberg. This man managed to make
FA MIL Y. 63
shoes and verses at the same time. Nu-
remberg, his native place, was one of the
first cities of Germany to welcome the new
doctrine ; and soon Hans Sachs tuned his
lyre to the service of the Reformed doc-
trine ; and since the minstrel's song had
ceased in the feudal castle, no music so
stirred and aroused the German people as
his rude Christian lyrics. According to
Wetzel, about five thousand of his brave
and earnest songs went out from his hum-
ble workshop, while Luther was at work
upon the outposts of papal superstition.
And it would be difficult to decide whether
this poet of the people or the Elector of
Saxony, achieved the most in the great Ref-
ormation of the sixteenth century ; or to
say how much Hans Sachs, by his earnest
and spiritual hymns, helped Luther in his
sermons and Melancthon in his epistles.
But we have now to speak mainly of Lu-
64 FA MIL Y.
ther's hymns, and what they did for him-
self and the Reformation. Luther's first
hymn, it is said, was occasioned by the
martyrdom of two young Christian monks,
who were burnt alive, at Brussels, by the
" Flung to the heedless winds, or on the waters cast,
Their ashes shall be watched, and gathered at the
And from that scattered dust, around us and abroad,
Shall spring a plenteous seed of witnesses for God.
Jesus hath now received their latest living breath,
Yet vain is Satan's boast of victory in their death.
Still, still, though dead, they speak, and trumpet-
To many a wakening land, the one availing Name."
This, among the hymns of Luther, is re-
markable for its harmonious measure and
poetical rhythm, and, like all his Christian
lyrics, is full of his fire and enthusiasm and
joyful trust in God.
His " Song of Praise for Redemption "
FA MIL Y. 65
is remarkable as a condensed versification
of his " Commentary on the Galatians," or
as containing the essence of his own life-
experience. We give the first verse :
"Dear Christian people all rejoice,
Each soul with joy upspringing ;
Pour forth our song with heart and voice,
With love and gladness singing.
Give thanks to God, our Lord above,
Thanks for His miracle of love !
Dearly He hath redeemed us ! ' '
Luther's carol for Christmas, written for
his own child Hans, is still sung from the
dome of the Kreuz-Kirche, in Dresden, be-
fore daybreak on the morning of Christ-
mas-day. " It refers to the custom, then
and long afterwards prevalent in Germany,
of making, at Christmas-time, represen-
tations of the manger with the infant
Fut the most famous of all his hymns is
* Evenings with the Sacred Poets, p. 98.
66 FA MIL Y.
his noble version of Psalm XL VI,, "Ein
Feste burg ist wiser Gott" which may be
called the national hymn of Protestant
Germany. One cannot speak of German
Psalmody, or rightly appreciate Luther,
without this grand poem, in which his heroic
spirit unconsciously shines forth in ideal
and inimitable grandeur. " Ein Feste
burg" it is said, was composed by Luther
on his way to Worms, and is a regular
battle-song. Heine says : " The old cathe-
dral trembled when it heard these novel
sounds; the very rooks flew from their
nests on its towers. That hymn, the Mar-
seillaise of the Reformation, has preserved
to the present day its potent spell over
German hearts, and we may yet hear it
thundered forth." *
Of the many translations of this memo-
rable hymn, we select the following from
* Heine, in the Revue de Deux Mondes, 1834.
FA MILY. 67
the Church Book, as sufficiently literal,
whilst it retains much of the grand rhythm
of the original, and is, moreover, adapted
to the music composed by Luther. The
music is as soul-stirring as the hymn ; and
the two are so united by a common birth,
sympathy and historical association, that
they ought never to be separated.
LUTHER'S GREAT HYMN.
" A mighty Fortress is our God,
A trusty shield and weapon ;
He helps us free from every need
That hath us now o'ertaken.
The old bitter foe
Means us deadly woe ;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight,
On earth is not his equal.
"With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected ;
But for us fights the Valiant One
Whom God himself elected.
68 FA MIL Y.
Ask ye, who is this ?
Jesus Christ it is,
Of Sabaoth Lord,
And there 's none other God,
He holds the field forever.
" Though devils all the world should fill,
All watching to devour us,
We tremble not, we fear no ill,
They cannot overpower us.
This world's prince may still
Scowl fierce as he will,
He can harm us none.
He 's judged, the deed is done,
One little word o'erthrows him.
" The Word they still shall let remain,
And not a thank have for it ;
He 's by our side upon the plain,
With his good gifts and spirit.
Take they then our life,
Goods, fame, child and wife ;
When their worst is done,
They yet have nothing won :
The Kingdom ours remaineth."
Of this hymn, Carlyle says in his own
peculiar way : " It jars upon our ears ; yet
is there something in it like the sound of
Alpine avalanches, or the first murmur of
earthquakes ; in the very vastness of which
dissonance a higher unison is revealed to
us. Luther wrote this song in a time of
blackest threatenings, — which, however,
could in nowise become a time of despair.
... It is evident enough that to this man all
Popes' conclaves and imperial Diets, and
hosts and nations were but weak ; weak as
the forest, with all its strong trees, may be
to the smallest spark of electric fire!'
It has been justly called the battle-hymn
of the Church, and the paean of the Ref-
ormation, for it was a song of inspiration
and power to Luther and others in the
darkest days of the Church. On the 1 6th
of April, as Luther approached Worms,
and the old bell-towers rose to view, he
stood up in his chariot, and began to sing
this soul-stirring hymn. One day, when
Melancthon was at Weimar, he heard a
little child sing this hymn in the street, and
confessed how it had comforted him. It
was sung by Gustavus Adolphus for the
last time on the battle-field of Lutzen,
where the pious king of Sweden fell, nobly
fighting for God and his country. It was
sung by the camp-fires and before many a
battle in the recent Prussian war, and with
all the fire and enthusiasm of the times of
Luther. Some one asked the Elector
Frederick why he did not build fortifica-
tions in his country. He answered : " Ein
Feste Burg ist unser Gott." It was this
hymn that was sung in sorrow and tears
over Luther's grave, and its first line was
inscribed upon his tomb.
Coleridge says " that Luther did as much
for the Reformation by his hymns as by
his translation of the Bible." This per-
haps is a little too strong ; but it must be
evident that the influence of his hymns
was mighty and extensive in moulding
popular sentiment, and uniting men in the
common faith of Protestantism, who knew
little of Creeds and Articles. They were
to Luther himself a means of inspiration:
and strength in the stormy conflict through:
which he was called to pass, and a cheer-
ing, heavenly enjoyment in his family.
We have alluded to the singing of Ein
Feste Burg as he entered Worms. We
give one other instance of his singing in
time of trouble. During the Diet of Augs-
burg, in 1530, Luther's mental anxiety so
overcame his bodily strength, that he
fainted ; on recovering, he said, " Come,
let us defy the devil, and praise God, by
singing the hymn, Out of the depths, I cry to
Thee." This hymn has been sung by thous-
ands of believers in times of sickness and
sorrow. It was sung in the cathedral of
Wittenberg at Luther's funeral. In the very
church, upon whose doors he had nailed
his Theses, his sorrowing friends sang
this hymn that had so stirred all Germany.
It is said to have been the last Protestant
hymn sung in the Strasbourg Cathedral.
It is not possible to estimate how much
the hymns of Luther advanced the cause
of the Reformation. The common people
of Germany caught up these songs, so full
of strong scriptural words, and sang them
with all their hearts : so that it has been
truly said that the hymns of Germany be-
came her national liturgy. And then, un-
like the idle listening to a dry and heartless
litany, the people were able to understand
the deep spiritual meaning of these hymns,
so respondent to their soul experiences
and holiest aspirations. No wonder it is
said in the history of those times, that the
children learned Luther's hymns in the cot-
tage, and martyrs sang them on the scaf-
fold. And no wonder that the Romanists
hated these hymns almost as much as an
open Bible, for they helped on the spread
of the evangelical Church. Hence, a Ro-
man Catholic writer says : " The hymns of
Luther have ruined more souls than all his
writings and sermons."
It is curious and suggestive to note how
the Reformation went on its way, not only
singing, but by singing. It is said that the
Reformation was introduced into the city
of Hanover, not by preachers or by books,
but by the hymns of Luther which were
sung among the people. It is reported that
hundreds, who otherwise would never have
heard the name of Luther, were brought to
the true faith by means of that single hymn,
" Nunfreut etcck, Hebe Christengemein!'
Selnecker relates that several of these
hymns having been introduced into the
chapel-service of the Duke Henry of Wolf-
74 FA MIL Y.
enbiittle, a priest made complaint. The
duke asked what hymns he objected to.
" May it please your highness, they are
such as, 'Oh, that the Lord would gracious
be ! ' " " Hold ! " replied the duke ; " must
the devil, then, be gracious ? Whose grace
are we to seek, if not that of God only ? "
It is hardly necessary to add that the hymns
continued to be sung in the chapel.
In 1529, a Romish priest preached at
Lubeck, and just as he ended his homily,
two boys struck up the hymn of Luther,
" O God, from heaven now behold ! " when
the whole assembly joined as with one
voice ; and this was repeated whenever any
one spake against the evangelical Church.*
Something like this occurred at Heidel-
berg. " On one occasion, a priest was
about to begin the service, standing at the
high altar, when a single voice led off the
* Evenings with the Poets, page 101.
beginning of the famous hymn of Paul
Speratus, ' Es ist das Heil uns kommen her!
The vast congregation immediately joined ;
and the elector, taking this as a sufficient
suffrage of his people, proceeded to intro-
duce the communion in both kinds ; for,
hitherto, Frederick, from fear of the empe-
ror, had delayed suppressing the mass. It
was Luther's hymns and tunes combined
that did the work." *
A very curious incident is related of that
remarkable hymn, which seemed to embody
in verse the religious experience of Luther,
" Song of praise for redeeming love," and
"Dear Christian people, all rejoice,
Each soul with joy upspringing ;
Pour forth your song with heart and voice,
With love and gladness singing. ' '
It is said that in 1557, a convention of
* Evenings with the Poets, page 102.
7 6 FA MIL Y.
princes of the reformed religion, at Frank-
fort, wished to introduce a Protestant ser-
vice in the Church of St. Bartholomew. A
large assembly was present ; but the pulpit
was occupied by a priest, who proceeded
to set forth the peculiar doctrines of the
Romish Church. For a time the people
listened in sullen silence ; but at last the
whole congregation rose and began to sing
this hymn, till they fairly sang the priest
out of the church.
In these fragmentary allusions to the
hymns of Luther, as sung by people of
every class, not only in schools and churches,
but in the markets and fields, the streets
and homes of Germany, we cannot fail to
see how mighty must have been their influ-
ence upon the masses in advancing the
cause of the Reformation. And then it
was not only what Luther himself did in
psalmody, but what he inspired others to
FA MIL Y. 77
do, who caught his spirit, embraced his
doctrines, and tuned their lyres in the ser-
vice of Protestantism. Wetzel, in 1 718,
estimated the printed German hymns at
fifty-five thousand, of which sacred lyrics,
Hans Sachs alone wrote about five thous-
and. It may not, therefore, be too much
for Coleridge to say that Luther did as
much for the Reformation by his hymns as
by his translation of the Bible. For after
all, these hymns contained the substance of
God's truth, in Luther's strong, scriptural,
Saxon words, and dropped in music into
the hearts of the people, as dew melts into
the heart of a flower.
We cannot better close this chapter of
Luther's home-life than by commending to
all Christians his practice of singing hymns.
" Let the word of Christ dwell in you
richly, in all wisdom ; teaching and admon-
ishing one another in psalms and hymns
yS FA MIL Y.
and spiritual songs, singing with grace in
your hearts to the Lord."
Let every Christian sing. It will keep
warm in his heart the love of Jesus, and
diffuse a heavenly peace through the soul.
And especially should Christians sing in
times of depression and sorrow. So did
Jesus. In that memorable night in which
Christ and his disciples went out to the
garden, they sang a hymn. Before Jesus
were the agony and the cross and Calvary;
before the apostles was the sad thought of
separation : and yet they sang, not some
mournful song, but a hymn of praise and
exultation, such as, "The Lord is my
strength and my song, and is become my
So Luther, whenever the sky was dark
and threatening, would say, Come, let us
sing the forty-sixth Psalm. As he ap-
proached Worms, as already mentioned,
FA MIL Y. 79
he rose in his chariot, and sang Ein Feste
Burg ist unser Gott. During the Diet of
Augsburg, when fainting with mental anxi-
ety, he said, " Let us praise God by sing-
ing the hymn, ' Out of the depths I cry to
Thee.' " And so should any Christian, when
sad and despondent, sing hymns of praise.
It will calm the troubled soul and soothe
the aching heart. He will go forth with a
firmer step and a more hopeful spirit to his
Gethsemane and Calvary, if he goes sing-
ing, " Why art thou cast down, oh my soul ?
and why art thou disquieted within me? hope
thou in God ; for I shall yet praise Him, who
is the health of my countenance and my
Let Christians, like Luther, sing in the
family. It will quicken the social virtues,
deepen the home affections, and beautify
the household with peace and harmony.
One of the sweetest memories of a Chris-
80 FA MIL Y.
tian home is the recollection of the hymns
and music of family worship.
In Kcenig's picture, we see Luther exer-
cising himself and family in the first evan-
gelical church melodies. He was specially
concerned for the training of children in
singing church music. In the preface to his
first collection of hymns, he says : " These
hymns are set to music in four parts, for no
other reason than that the young people,
who ought at all events to be instructed in
music and other proper arts, might be rid
of their silly songs, and, instead, have
something good and useful as becometh
the young. I should be glad to see all arts,
and especially music, employed in the ser-
vice of God." Not only did Luther teach
his own children music, but insisted upon its
being taught in the schools of the Church.
"A school-master must be able to sing,
otherwise I will have nothing to do with
FAMILY 8 1
It would be well for Christians of our
day to follow the example of Luther in this
peculiarity of his home-life. Let there be
music in the family. The singing of
hymns is one of the most eminent ways in
which the household can have a conscious
presence of Jesus, and realize the sweet
unity of peace and love. Let the children
learn to sing. The spring-time of life,
like that of nature, may fitly begin with
song. The hymns of the Church sung by
the child are woven into the creed of the
man. The great doctrines of Christianity
liquefied by song, may flow into the young
heart by hymns, and abide there as " a well
of water, springing up 'into everlasting
life. ,, Many a child has found Jesus in the
words and music of a Christian hymn.
The sweet invitation of the Saviour, Suffei"
little children to come unto me, has been
sung into the young heart, and touched it
82 FA MIL Y.
with a responsive love and consecration.
How beautiful the story of the little girl
thus brought to Jesus, who, as she lay
in her last sickness, looked up to her mo-
ther with a hopeful smile, and grasping her
hand, said : " Mother, sing to me of
heaven ! " These words of the dying
child have been thus versified for the
young by an American poet:
" Oh, sing to me of heaven, when I am called to die !
Sing songs of holy ecstasy to waft my soul on high.
Then to my raptured ears let one sweet song be
Let music charm me last on earth, and greet me
first in heaven ! ' '
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
N Kcenig's pictured life of Luther,
there is a domestic garden-scene,
in which the great Reformer appears with
his family, encompassed with the fruits and
flowers of summer. The artist's work
would have been incomplete without this
beautiful memorial of Luther ; for his
heart ever opened in the free air, in the
sights and shows of the passing seasons ;
and to his poetical fancy nature was full
of symbols and spiritual suggestions.
"The picture shows him in the enjoy-
ment of all that imparts delight to summer,
86 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
with his household and his most familiar
friends about him. It is a charming scene
of innocent festivity which the artist here
brings before the eye. Under a trellis,
mantled with vines loaded with rich clus-
ters of grapes, the party is assembled at
sunset. Luther holds out his hands to his
youngest child, who, by the aid of his mo-
ther, is tottering towards his father, with a
bunch of grapes weighing down his little
hands. The oldest boy, mounted on a light
ladder, hands down the grapes, which
Madeleine receives in her apron. The
third boy is bringing to his father a cluster
remarkable for its size ; the second son is
playing with the dog — perhaps that very
dog which Luther said had ' looked upon
many books.' The ground is covered
with melons. One of Luther's friends
plays upon the flute, another sketches a
basket of beautiful fruit ; two of them sit
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. 87
beneath the arbor, and two others wander
about the garden in friendly converse.
Through an arch in the wall, the river is
seen winding gently along, under the last
rays of the declining sun. What a change
from the time of scourging before the
crucifix ! "*
This is a fine description of the beautiful
picture ; but the young reader may want to
know something more about the dog, which
seems to look so intently, and with such a
sober face, at that large bunch of grapes
which the third boy is showing to his fa-
ther. There is a sad and oldish look
about his face ; and we are disposed to be-
lieve that he is the same dog which Luther
brought with him from Wartburg, as a gift
from the keeper of the castle, and that
died of old age, after fifteen years spent at
his master's feet, where he was wont to re-
* Dr. Krauth's Conservative Reformation, page 34.
88 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
pose while Luther was writing. Hence,
Luther said, in allusion to the theologians
who boasted of having seen so many books:
" Aye, and my dog also has seen many
books, — more, probably, than Faber him-
self, who has nothing in his mouth but Fa-
thers and councils. I know that Faber has
seen many books : I do not envy him his
It was a happy idea of the artist to pic-
ture this domestic garden-scene of Luther's
summer joys with his family, for it gives us
at once a glimpse of the great Reformer in
his love of home, of children, of nature and
flowers. He was both a poet and a phi-
losopher. Some one says of Hume, that
he could fetch you the leg of a metaphysi-
cal notion from the Central Africa of Duns
Scotus or Thomas Aquinas in the twinkling
of an eye ; but he seems never to have
gone out of his closet long enough to see
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. 89
what there was in nature, or whether there
was any such thing as nature at all." *
Not so with Luther. He was as great a
lover of nature as he was of music and
poetry. He looked upon all natural ob-
jects with a poetic eye r and to his imagi-
nation the outer world was full of beautiful
symbols and spiritual suggestions.
"And so the very flowers seemed silent hymns,.
And by their aspect of persuasive bloom
Remind him oft of Eden, long no more ;
Or bid him muse on what the world may be
When second paradise again shall dawn." f"
Doubtless botany has its value ; but the
flowers knew how to preach divinity before
men knew how to dissect and botanize them ;
for long before botany as a science was
dreamed of, Luther had divined the prin-
ciple of vegetable life. He said: "The
principle of marriage runs through all cre-
* Hudson's Lectures on Shakspeare.
f Luther : A Poem. By Robert Montgomery.
90 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
ation, and flowers as well as animals are
male and female." But he loved nature
more as a poet than as a scientist, as is
manifest from his many poetical sentiments
about nature, and his rare enjoyment of the
garden and all natural objects ; for poetry
is but the true and the good seen under the
aspect of the beautiful. And so to Luther
often the commonest thing becomes an
Aaron's rod, and buds and blossoms out
into poetry ; and in this respect he was like
Burns, to whom the sight of a mountain
daisy unsealed the fountains of his nature,
and who embalmed the " bonny gem" in the
beauty of his spirit.
The summer-garden sometimes drew
from him a strain of sentiment and feeling
as beautiful as a finished piece of poetry.
One day, in early spring, as he was watch-
ing the swelling buds, he exclaimed :
" Praise be to God the Creator, who out
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. 9 1
of a dead world makes all alive again. See
those shoots, how they sprout and swell !
Image of the resurrection of the dead !
Winter is death ; summer is the resurrec-
tion. Between them lie spring and autumn,
as the period of uncertainty and change.
The proverb says :
' Trust not a day
Ere birth of May.'
Let us pray our Father in heaven to give
us this day our daily bread."
At another time he said : " We are in the
dawn ol a new era ; we are beginning to
think something of the natural world which
was ruined in Adam's fall. We are learn-
ing to see all around us the greatness and
glory of the Creator. We can see the
Almighty hand, the infinite goodness, in the
humblest flower. We praise Him, we glo-
rify Him ; we recognize in creation the
92 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
power of his word. He spoke, and it was
there. The stone of the peach is hard; but
the soft kernel swells, and bursts it when
the time comes. An egg — what a thing is
that ! If an egg had never been seen in
Europe, and a traveller had brought one
from Calcutta, how would the world have
wondered ! "
And again : " If a man could make a sin-
gle rose, we should give him an empire ;
yet roses, and flowers no less beautiful, are
scattered in profusion over the world, and
no one regards them." *
In writing to his friend Link, at Nurem-
berg, he asks him to send him seeds for
the garden, and says: "If Satan and his
imps rave and roar, I shall laugh at him,
and admire and enjoy, to the Creator's
praise, God's blessings in the garden." On
another occasion, he wrote to Spalatin : " I
* Froude's Times of Erasmus and Luther.
SUMMER JOYS WITH BIS FAMILY. 93
have planted my garden, and made a foun-
tain in the centre of it. Come and see us,
and you shall be crowned with lilies and
roses." When the seeds sent him by his
old friend Link began to sprout, he wrote
to him, with the simple joy of a child : " My
melons are growing; my gourds are filling
up. What a blessing ! "
Luther had a pure, sanctified poetical
feeling, sensitive to every phase of natural
beauty; and to this inner, spiritual vision
the world was full of symbols and suggest-
ions of divine things. Once, he looks out
from his solitary Patmos, the castle of Co-
burg, in the middle of the night ; the great
vault of immensity, long flights of clouds
sailing through it, — dumb, gaunt, huge;
who supports all that? None ever saw
the pillars of it ; yet it is supported. God
supports it. We must know that God is
great, that God is good, and trust where
94 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
we cannot see. Returning home from
Leipsic once, he is struck by the beauty of
the harvest-fields. How it stands, that
golden, yellow corn, on its fair taper stem,
its golden head bent, all rich and waving
there ! the meek earth, at God's bidding,
has produced it once again — the bread of
It is said of Linnaeus, that he sometimes
studied the flowers on his knees. So did
Luther. We are told that he often knelt
down to admire them more closely. "Poor
violet," he would say ; " what a perfume you
exhale ! It would, however, be still more
agreeable if Adam had not sinned. Oh,
rose, how I admire your colors, which would
be still more brilliant had it not been for
the sin of the first man ! How thy beauty,
O lily, effaces that of the princes of the
world ! What, then, would it be, if Adam
* Spiritual Portrait of Luther, by Thomas Carlyle, page 216.
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. 95
had not disobeyed his Creator ? " He be-
lieved that after Adam's fall God deprived
the earth of a portion of the gifts he had
first imparted to it. " Nature, however,"
said he, " has not been niggardly towards
man. The murmuring of rivulets, the odor
of flowers, the breath of winds, and the
rustling of leaves, are made so many hymns
chanted to the Creators praise ; whereas
man forgets Him altogether since his sin !
Oh ! man, how great would have been your
happiness had not Adam sinned ! You
would have seen and admired God in all
His works ; and the smallest flower or plant
would have been for you the exhaustless
source of meditation on. the goodness and
magnificence of Him who created the world.
If God has made the rocks bud forth such
flowers, with such sweet perfume, and such
brilliant colors that no painter can success-
fully imitate them, what endless variety of
g6 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
flowers, of all colors, — blue, yellow, red, —
could not He produce from the earth ? " *
Luther had little sympathy or patience
with men who were insensible to the beau-
ties of nature. He once said : " Poor Eras-
mus, what do you care how the fruit is
formed, matured, or developed. You know
nothing of the beauty or grandeur of cre-
ation. . . . Tell Erasmus to admire these
wonders ; but they are above his capacity.
He looks on creatures as a calf looks at a
new door." f
In Kcenig's picture, we see Luther and
his family and a few friends in the social
enjoyments of summer. He is himself a
child among the flowers and the children.
He forgets all his troubles in the innocent
* Life of Martin Luther, by Audin, 368.
f Siehet cr die Creaturen an, wie die Kiihe em Neuthor.
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. $?
pleasures of the garden, into which he en-
ters with such uncommon zest and merri-
ment. It is said of Dr. Chalmers, that in
the darkest hours of the Free Church of
Scotland, he would say to his children,
" Come, let us go out and play ball or fly
the kite ; " and often in the sport the children
could not keep up with the father. So, in
times of the greatest anxiety and suspense,
when the whole future of the Reformation
work seemed trembling in the balance, Lu-
ther would turn to his children. As an in-
stance of this, and as opening a window
into the great man's heart in this garden-
scene, we give here, as the most fitting
place, his letter to his little son John. It
reveals his love and sympathy for his chil-
dren, even in the most troublous times. It
is one of the most beautiful pages in the
life of Luther. He was confined in the
castle of Coburg while the Imperial Diet
98 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
at Augsburg was in session, before which
the Reformed Confession was about to be
presented. Walking one day in Coburg,
he stopped before a toy-shop, and was over-
come with tender thoughts of home and his
little son. On returning to the castle, he
laid aside the second Psalm, which he was
translating into German, and took up his
pen and wrote this beautiful letter to his
son John, then four years old :
" Grace and peace in Christ, my dear
little son. I am very glad to know that
you learn your lessons well and love to
say your prayers. Keep on doing so, my
little boy, and when I come home, I will
bring you something pretty from the fair.
I know of a beautiful garden, where there
are a great many children in fine little
coats, and they go under the trees and
gather beautiful apples and pears, cherries
and plums ; they sing, and run about, and
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. 99
are as happy as they can be. Sometimes
they ride about on nice little ponies, with
golden bridles and silver saddles. I asked
the man whose garden it is, What little chil-
dren are these? And he told me, They
are little children who love to pray and
learn, and are good. Then I said: My
dear sir, I have a little boy at home; his
name is little Hans Luther ; would you let
him come into the garden, too, to eat some
of these nice apples and pears, and ride on
these fine little ponies, and play with these
children? The man said: If he loves to
say his prayers, and learn his lesson, and
is a good boy, he may come. And Philip
and Jocelin may come too ; and when they
are all together, they can play on the fife
and drum and lute and all kinds of instru-
ments, and skip about, and shoot with little
cross-bows. He then showed me a beau-
tiful mossy place in the middle of the gar-
I OO S UMME R JOYS WI TH HIS FA MIL Y
den, for them to skip about in, with a great
many golden fifes and drums, and silver
cross-bows. The children had not yet had
their dinner, and I could not wait to see
them play, but I said to the man : My dear
sir, I will go away and write all about it to
my little son, John, and tell him to be fond
of saying his prayers, and learn much, and
be good, so that he may come into this
garden ; but he has a Cousin Lehne, whom
he must bring along with him. The man
said, Very well ; go write to him. Now, my
dear little son, love your lessons and your
prayers, and tell Philip and Jocelin to do
so too, that you may all come to the gar-
den. May God bless you. Give Cousin
Lehne my love, and kiss her for me."
This simple and touching letter opens
another window in the heart of Luther,
and illumines this loving family gathering
in the garden. The picture shows us only
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. IOI
one of the many garden-scenes in his life.
The neat little parlor, with its windows
shaded by vines instead of silken drapery,
opened into a garden where Catharine and
Luther often walked in pleasant converse.
At one time you might see him working in
his garden, going to the fountain to get
water for his flower-plots, and as proud of
his blooming shrubbery almost as of his
translation of the New Testament. Pfizer
says : " He loved his garden so much be-
cause, when assailed by the devil, he could
take up the spade, and thus laughing in his
sleeve at Satan, escape from him among
flowers." * At another time, Catharine
would pluck a branch loaded with cher-
ries, and put it upon his table in primitive
simplicity ; or she would treat him with a
mess of fish from his own little pond in the
garden ; and such little attentions of deli-
* Gustav. Pfizer.
102 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
cate kindness, not only gave her so much
innocent pleasure, but awakened in him
feelings of grateful love, and sent his
thoughts singing to the Father of mercies
and fountain of all good.
One beautiful spring day, Luther and
Catharine were walking in the garden for
some time, in silent admiration of the blos-
soming trees and new-born flowers, and in
quiet enjoyment of the sweetness and
beauty of the scene, when Luther sud-
denly exclaimed : " Glory to God, who calls
all nature to new life ! See those trees !
they are already filled with fruit. What a
striking image of the resurrection. Look
at this flower ; it was broken at the stem
last August. When all other flowers are
withered, this is fresh and fair, and there-
fore it is called amaranthus, and in winter
people make garlands of it. So is God's
word ; it will never lose its freshness, never
wither nor decay."
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. IO3
One evening, about sunset, he saw a
little bird perched upon a tree, and settling
itself for the night. "That little bird,"
said he, "has chosen its place of rest;
above it are the stars and deep heaven of
worlds, yet it has folded its little wings ;
gone trustfully to rest there as in its home,
and leaves God to think of its to-morrow."
A little bird once built itself a nest in his
garden. Sometimes the passers-by would
frighten it away. Seeing this, the Doctor
would say: "Ah, dear little bird, do not
flee ; from my heart I wish thee no harm,
if thou couldst but believe me. So we
often do not trust in God, who, so far from
doing us any evil, has given us everything,
even his own Son."
Luther had a peculiarly scriptural and
illustrative way of speaking to his family,
turning the every-day things of life to re-
ligious uses and ends. One evening, as
104 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
the cows were returning from pasture, he
said : " Behold ! there go our preachers ;
there are our milk-bearers, butter-bearers,
cheese- and wool-bearers, which do daily
preach to us faith towards God, that we
should trust in Him as our loving Father,
who careth for us, and will maintain and
nourish us." Playing with one of his chil-
dren, who was full of the gayety and sports
of childhood, he said : " Thou art the inno-
cent little simpleton of our Lord, under
grace, and not under the law. Thou hast
no fear and no anxiety ; all that thou doest
is well done. We old simpletons torment
ourselves by endless disputes upon the
Word. We ought to follow the example
of little children, and simply trust the word
of the Lord." One day, looking at little
Martin playing with his dog, he said : " This
boy preacheth God's words by his deeds
and acts ; for God saith : ' Have dominion
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. 105
over the fishes of the sea and over the.
beasts of the field.' See how the dog
putteth up with everything from him."
Luther with his children in the garden
turned its very beauty into a ministry of
spiritual culture and refinement, getting les-
sons of trust and simplicity for the children
from the birds and the flowers ; making the
garden, so fresh and musical about them,
suggestive of something yet more beauti-
ful to come. And so, even to the children,
with the blue sky bending over them as if
in silent benediction, the summer-garden
became the symbol of a sunnier and hap-
One day his children were admiring the
color of a peach, then a rare fruit, of which
Luther had received a present. " Look
you, my children," said the Doctor ; " this is
but a feeble image of what you may one
day see on high. Before their fall, Adam
106 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
and Eve had peaches as beautiful as this,
and even more so, compared with which
our peaches are but wild pears." In this
delicate and somewhat sentimental way he
turned the thoughts of the children, in sym-
pathy with his own, to the bright future of
this world. He gave them to understand
that what they so much admired in the
beauty of the flowers and the song of the
birds and the glory of the summer sky, was
but a faint aurora of the new heavens and
the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteous-
In this way Luther set his home-life on
earth in spiritual and hopeful sympathy
with the home in heaven. The old Romans
held the face of the new-born child to the
stars, indicating by the touching supersti-
tion that it was destined to a higher life be-
yond the skies. Luther, in his family reli-
gion, gave the true expression to that dim
SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY. 107
pagan yearning, in the baptismal welcome
and Christian consecration of the child ;
embosoming the young immortal in the
love of God, surrounding it with all that is
pure and beautiful in nature and art, and
stimulating its spiritual development by the
genial and sunny atmosphere of a cheerful
household piety, so that the child, under
such warm and heavenly ministries, might
grow in the nurture of the Lord, and open
its heart to heaven as naturally as the flower
opens its beauty to the sun. And such a
genial, happy Christian home becomes a
living and sanctifying memory, so that the
child in all the after-life will look back to it
with the sentiment —
"The thought of those first years in me doth breed
Luther, in his summer joys with his family
in the garden, gave to Germany and to all
108 SUMMER JOYS WITH HIS FAMILY.
lands the true ideal type of a cheerful,
happy, Christian home. And if we take
with us through life the memory and influ-
ence of our early years, how important that
the home of childhood should be one of
beauty and culture and refinement, of inno-
cent pleasure and cheerful hope, sanctified
by the word of God and prayer ; so that
the youth and the man, even to old age,
may live in the past, the soul's first ideal,
and bless Heaven
['.... for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day. ' '
E pass from that summer garden-
scene to the winter fireside. And
to a man like Luther, full of sympathy with
nature in her ever-varying moods and sea-
sons, winter would bring its own pleasures
as well as summer. Winter is specially
the season for home-joys, as it is for mental
development and progress. Our own Pres-
cott has said, in his peculiar way, " I think
better of snow-storms since I find that,
though they keep a man's body indoors,
they bring his mind out." And while it is
true that the soil is more fruitful as you
approach the tropics, what is taken out of
112 WINTER PLEASURES.
the land is put into the man as you touch
the snow. And winter, outwardly so cold
and ungenial, has its own peculiar blessings,
especially for the family. It develops and
strengthens the social affections. The
frowning face of nature, like the dark
cloud of adversity, lends a charm to all
the inner life, and augments the sympa-
thies and pleasures of home.
From what we have seen of Luther in
the garden, we can easily fancy how he
would gather the family more closely and
lovingly about the fireside, and sit in the
warm light of a winter evening; and how,
as he listens to the cold bleak winds, he
would feel his heart warmed with grateful
praise for his mercies, and touched with
pity for the poor and needy. Perhaps, as
the snow falls and beats about the home,
and his heart grows tender in its thankful-
ness, and reaches out into the dreary storm,
WINTER PLEASURES. 113
he would think of the little bird which he
saw going to sleep on a tree in his summer-
garden, and wonder what has become of it ;
and, if not in the words, yet with the feel-
ings of Burns, he might say :
"Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing,
That in the merry month o' spring
Delighted us to hear thee sing, —
What comes o' thee ?
Whaur wilt thou cower thy chittering wing,
And close thy ee ? "
At all events, we think it likely Luther
would moralize about the things of winter
as he did in the summer-garden. The snow-
flakes would send his thoughts heavenward,
whence the wonder came ; and it would be
natural for one so poetical to see in them
a beautiful testimony to the Sermon on the
Mount, and, by a natural suggestion, to ex-
tend Christ's great lesson of summer into
winter. He might not consider the snow-
114 WINTER PLEASURES.
flakes as so many regular crystals, shaped
with the most delicate art into hexagons, —
clustered foliage of interlacing network,—
but looking at the snow, as it robes the
fields, to keep warm the seeds and germs
of the coming spring, and how softly this
winter robe, woven like gossamer by the
divine fingers, falls like a dream over the
frosty earth, gently as the evening dew
upon summer flowers, he would see in this
the same Providence that gives to the lily
its summer beauty, and cares for the birds
of the air. And so the winter would touch
his heart with filial trust in his heavenly
Father, whose hand reaches down to the
snow-flakes as to the brilliant constellations
of heaven ; and for him, in dreary winter,
as in blooming summer, there is no anxious
thought for the morrow. For not a snow-
flake or a sparrow can fall without his
heavenly Father, and the very hairs of his
head are all numbered.
WINTER PLEASURES. 115
HOME IN WINTER.
The transition from the summer garden
to the winter fireside is natural and easy.
And we feel something of the exhilaration
of the season as we see Luther with his
family on Christmas eve. Gelzer, follow-
ing Koenig's pictorial life of Luther, says :
" Upon the pleasures of summer follow
those of winter, — the Christmas festival, —
and the garden which now delights Luther's
eyes are his children, whom he looked upon
as God's greatest blessing." One day, when
his friend Justus Jonas hung over the table
a branch loaded with beautiful cherries, in
remembrance of the creation, and praised
the Lord for such delicious fruits of the
earth, Luther said : " Why do you not
much rather consider this in your children
— fruits which are more excellent, beauti-
ful and noble creatures of God than any
Il6 WINTER PLEASURES.
fruits of trees ? " He spoke of children as
the choicest gifts of heaven. When John,
his first child was born, with a heart over-
flowing with gratitude, he wrote at once to
his old friend Spalatin, informing him of the
joyous event : " God be praised, I am a fa-
ther. Catharine, my dear wife, has presented
me with a son. I am, thank God, a father.
I wish with all my heart that heaven may
give you the same and even greater happi-
ness, for you are much better than I."
Luther was never happier than when
surrounded by his wife and children. He
seemed to be in the most delightful sympa-
thy with all their curious fancies and sim-
ple merriment. He would often gather
them about him, and with a few congenial
friends spend the evening in singing and
music. He once said to Melancthon : "We
ought not always to serve God with labor,
but also with resting and recreation/' It
WINTER PLEASURES. WJ
was in the sunshine of his children, in their
sports and laughter and singing, that the
great Reformer forgot the storm of the
outer world ; and the cloud of anxious
cares about the Church melted away in the
sunny memories of his own innocent and
happy childhood. Many a time during
those dark days of the Reformation, Lu-
ther might have found in those beautiful
words of Longfellow the truest expression
of his thoughts and feelings :
" Come to me, O ye children !
For I hear you at your play ;
And the questions that perplexed me
Have vanished quite away.
"Ye open the eastern windows,
That look towards the sun, —
Where thoughts are singing swallows,
And the brooks of morning run.
" In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
In your thoughts the brooklet's flow,
But in mine is the wind of Autumn
And the first fall of the snow.
Il8 WINTER PLEASURES.
" Come to me, O ye children !
And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing
In your sunny atmosphere.
" For what are all our contrivings,
And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
And the gladness of your looks? "
Luther restored to Protestant Christen-
dom the true ideal and experience of the
old Christmas festival. All life to him was
now a festival of joy and praise for the
holy child Jesus. "He had found the
Christ; and when he was not kneeling with
the shepherds, he was singing with the
angels." And this new consciousness and
experience of a personal, present Saviour,
illumined and sanctified the memory of his
early Christmas days. In his old age, he
speaks of his school-years at Magdeburg
WINTER PLEASURES. 1 19
with delightful reminiscences of Christmas :
" At the season when the Church keeps the
festival of Christ's birth, we scholars went
through the hamlets, from house to house,
singing in quartette the familiar hymns
about Jesus, the little child born at Bethle-
And not only to Luther, but to all the
Protestant families of Germany, Christmas
eve came with a new welcome of joy.
"The eyes of men grew bright, and those
of women were suffused with tears of
gratitude, and children shouted for glad-
ness at the mention of the name of one
who had led back the race to the cradle,
and taught them how to bow there, as did
the shepherds, in childlike trust — trust not
in the mother, but in her holy child." *
In one of Kcenig's happiest illustrations,
we have Luther with his family on Christ-
* Conservative Reformation.
120 WINTER PLEASURES.
mas eve. The Christmas-tree, in olden
times, represented the birth of the Christ-
Kindlein. At the foot of the tree was the
manger, with the mother and her holy
child. But these have disappeared, and
the only figure remaining is the announcing
angel, at the top of the tree, which is some-
times mistaken for the Christ-child, and
which is usually taken down, as soon as the
child-drama of Christmas begins, and given
to the angel of the household — the best
of the children.
The artist has given us a true picture of
Luther with his family on Christmas eve.
In the centre stands the Christmas-tree all
ablaze with lights, and hung with cakes and
fruits and toys, that so delight the tastes
and fancies of children. Near by Luther
stands Catharine, leaning on his shoulder,
with her hand clasped in his, and looking
into his face with all the devotion and ten-
WINTER PLEASURES. 121
derness of a wife and mother. On the left
is Melancthon, directing Martin, the oldest
boy, how to hit an apple on the tree with
his cross-bow. On the right is Aunt Lena
showing Paul the pictures in a book lying
open on the table. In front of the table
sits Madeleine, the eldest daughter, who, un-
mindful of the little wagon and doll by her
side, is holding aloft the angel of the
Christmas festival, in childlike ecstasy.
There is, however, a shade of sadness on
her happy face, upturned in the light of the
tree to the little angel, as if she had some
presentiment of soon becoming an angel
herself. The third boy, in the midst of his
sports, with his. toy yet in his hand, has
run to clasp his father's knee ; whilst the
youngest child has just come from its cra-
dle, with its slip and night-cap, and bare
feet, and nestling on the father's bosom,
lovingly clasps him around the neck. This
122 WINTER PLEASURES.
is the finishing touch to the picture, and re-
minds one of the description by one of our
American poets, which could not be more
real if it had been written for this Christ-
mas scene :
" An infant came from its cradle bed,
And clung to the mother's breast ;
But soon to the knee of the sire it sped :
Love was its gift, and the angels said
That the baby's gift was best."
If now, to what meets the eye, we add
music, — the Christmas hymn, and the chil-
dren's hosanna, — the picture is perfect as
a representation of a domestic Christmas
eve. And this musical feature is sug-
gested by the artist, in the instrument by
Luther's side, leaning against his knee, as
if he had just paused in some sweet
melody and put down the lute for the
caresses of the child and the fond endear-
ment of the mother. It is truly a picture
WINTER PLEASURES. 1 23
that touches the heart. It moreover brings
into living view the great Reformer in the
sweet, domestic enjoyment of Christmas,
the happiest season of the year, and most
exhilarating social festival of the Church.
Luther, in his teaching, restored to
Christendom the true conception of the
Christ-child, and the true meaning of the
angels' song over the wonders of Bethle-
hem ; and in his own experience and ex-
ample, he has given the true ideal of
Christmas in the family. This ideal of
Christmas eve has mingled in the thoughts
and songs and poetry oPour finest litera-
We hear it in the recitative of Handel's
divine strain : " There were shepherds
abiding in the fields," as exquisite for truth
and simplicity as the cheek of innocence.
We know how Milton has sung of these
angelic symphonies in the ode, " On the
124 WINTER PLEASURES.
Morning of Christ's Nativity ; " and how
Shakspeare has touched upon Christmas
eve with a reverential tenderness sweet as
if he had spoken it hushingly in a whisper.
"Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes,
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrate,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long,
And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad :
The nights are wholesome ; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm ;
So hallow' d and so gracious is the time."
Upon which, Horatio observes, in a sen-
tence remarkable for the breadth and deli-
cacy of its sentiment,
"So have I heard, and do in part believe it ; "
that is to say, he believed all that was
worthy, and recognized the balmy and
Christian impression produced upon well-
disposed and sympathetic minds by reflec-
tion on the Christmas season.*
* Leigh Hunt : A Day by the Fire.
WINTER PLEASURES. 125
And so, as of old in Luther's home, let
Christmas be hailed with a joyous welcome
in all the families of Christendom. Let it
be a Christian festival in the household as
well as in the Church. Let it be a season
for the warm outflow of all kindliness and
love, and the sweet ministries of the heart-
and home-life. Let every happy home be
made happier by the Christmas-tree, with
its fruit-laden branches dropping gifts into
all hands. Christmas day brings a gift to
all the world ; for though in many a poor
man's home there be no tree, yet where the
tree is absent the cross stands present.
Happy is he who, on Christmas day, abides
within its sacred shadow, and receives the
gift of gifts which God gave to the world
in Him who is " the chief among ten thou-
sand, and the one altogether lovely." Then
let all unite in the joy and the song of
earth and heaven :
126 WINTER PLEASURES.
"Ring out, ye crystal spheres ;
Once bless our human ears,
If ye have power to touch our senses so ;
And let your silver chime
Move in melodious time,
And let the base of Heaven's deep organ blow,
And with your ninefold harmony
Make up full consort to the angelic symphony. ' '
And then, in the genial warmth and
sympathies of the season, let some tender
heart-thoughts and kindly charities be given
to the poor and homeless. For the return
of every Christmas repeats the old German
story of the poor and friendless outcast.
" On a certain Christmas eve, in a Ger-
man city, while a Christmas-tree was
sparkling in every house, a poor, homeless
orphan was wandering, faint, weary, and
cold, through the streets. He gazed long-
ingly at the windows from which joyful
lights streamed. He knocked timidly at
door after door, but was unheeded. He
would fain have gained entrance to one of
WINTER PLEASURES. I27
those happy households, merely to look on,
but no one heard him. At last he retired
sick and miserable to a dark corner, and
there, as he shivered with the cold of the
December night, he remembered that an
answer was promised to every sincere
prayer. So he prayed to the Lord Jesus
to give him a Christmas - tree. And as he
prayed, he beheld a star in the distance ;
and as he gazed, the star approached him,
and he descried the glorious form of a
beautiful child. It was the Christ-child
who came to answer his prayer, and who
drew down stars from heaven to light a
Christmas-tree for the poor orphan.
" And when the tree was all lighted, the
Christ-child took the boy into the tree, and
they were all wafted away into heaven.
The next day the newspapers contained
this item of city intelligence: 'Found in
Street, the dead body of a boy, of
128 WINTER PLEASURES.
some eight or ten years of age, parents
unknown ; coroner's verdict, death by
starvation and cold.' The poor little out-
cast had left the world, outwardly in cir-
cumstances of extreme wretchedness, but
inwardly in a dream of heaven, and in the
arms of the Christ-child."
And so, with every return of Christmas
eve, let the home be bright with the Christ-
mas-tree, and glad with the music of chil-
dren and the song of Bethlehem ; and
withal let the heart be tender and pitiful
for the lonely outcast and neglected poor.
And as through the cold, still night - air
there comes echoing down the centuries
the old, sweet, jubilant song of the angels
over the cradle of the infant Saviour:
" Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good-will to man," let every
heart be opened anew to the holy child
Jesus ! And let the young and the old,
WINTER PLEASURES. I29
the home and the Church, yea, all Christen-
dom unite to send back to heaven the song
as angels brought it down : Glory to God
in the highest!
11 Joy to the world, the Lord has come !
Let earth receive her King :
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing."
HOME IN SORROW.
HOME IN SORROW.
" 'T is sorrow builds the shining ladder up
Whose golden rounds are our calamities,
Whereon our firm feet planting, nearer God
The spirit climbs, and hath its eyes unsealed."
O portraiture of Luther's home-life
would be true to nature and fact
without those delicate shadings of sorrow
which give to the picture its life-like com-
pleteness and heavenly sanctity. And
hence, the artist, in his picture-life of the
great Reformer, conducts us from the gar-
den joys of summer, and the fireside plea-
sures of winter, to Luther kneeling by the
coffin of Madeleine. The home but yester-
day exhilarant with the music and festivities
134 HOME IN SORROW.
of Christmas is now overcast with shadows,
and is sad and tearful in the silence of a
Luther found in his sad and early do-
mestic experience that in his garden there
was a sepulchre ; and that the little coffin
soon followed the Christmas-tree within
his door. " Thy babe, O Bethlehem, turned
in the sleep of that hallowed night his
pure, pale face toward Gethsemane. The
angel of the Christmas-tree could not
guard the home from life's sorrows."
More than in the summer-garden, or by
the winter fireside, do we learn to know
Luther, in all the tenderness of his nature
and reach of his faith, in his home of sor-
row and bereavement. It is then we see
him as he appeared to Carlyle : " I know
few things more touching than those soft
breathings of affection, soft as a child's or
a mother's, in this great wild heart of Lu-
HOME IN SORROW. 135
ther. So honest, unadulterated with any-
cant ; homely in their utterance ; pure as
water welling from the rock."
We pass from the sunny garden-scene
to the shaded home, and from the hilarity
and song of Christmas eve to the quiet
vigils beside the couch of sickness, and to
the deeper and sadder silence of death.
It is but the picture of human life in its
sudden alternations of joy and sorrow.
For there is ever heard in the passing
generations that plaintive sigh of the old
bard on the banks of Ayr:
"I 've seen yon weary, winter sun,
Twice forty times return,
And ev'ry time has added proof
That man was made to mourn."
In September, 1542, he was called from
important Church interests, in Leipsic, to
the bedside of his sick and dying child.
One day, when she was in great suffering,
136 HOME IN SORROW.
he approached her bed, and taking hold of
her little hands, covered them with kisses.
" My dear child, my sweet, good Madeleine,
I know you would like to remain with your
father, but there is One still better in heaven
waiting for you."
"Oh, yes, dear father," answered the
dying child ; " let the will of God be done."
The father continued, as he walked the
room with deep emotion, " Dear child, oh,
how I love her! 'The spirit is willing, but
the flesh is weak.' " He opened the Bible,
and read the passage in Isaiah : " Thy dead
men shall live ; together with my dead body
shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that
dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of
herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead."
He then said, " My daughter, enter thou
into thy resting-place in peace." She turned'
her eyes to him, with that last look of all
mortal tenderness and immortal trust, and
HOME IN SORROW. 1 37
replied, with touching simplicity, " Yes,
The night before Madeleine's death, her
mother, weary with watching, reclined her
head on the sick-bed and slept, and dreamed.
The next morning, as soon as Melancthon
came, she told him her dream.
" I saw two young men, who seemed to
be clad in robes of light, enter the room.
I pointed to Madeleine, who lay in a quiet
sleep, and made a sign to them not to dis-
turb her ; but they said they came to con-
duct her to the bridal ceremony."
Melancthon was very much affected by
this dream, and afterwards said to his wife,
" These were holy angels that Catharine
saw, and were sent to carry the maiden to
the true nuptials of a heavenly kingdom."
As the time of her departure drew near,
she looked tenderly at her father and
mother, and begged them not to weep for
I38 HOME IN SORROW.
her. With a sweet smile upon her pale
and dying countenance, she said, " I go to
my Father in heaven." Luther, deeply
moved, threw himself on his knees by her
bedside, and, with clasped hands and bitter
tears, prayed the Lord to spare her. Soon
her consciousness ceased, and she breathed
her last in the arms of her father. Catha-
rine, in the agony of her sorrow, had turned
away, unable to look upon her dying child.
When all was over, Luther gently laid the
head of his dear child upon the pillow, say-
ing, " Dear Madeleine, thou hast found a
Father in heaven ! O my God, let thy will
be done ! " Melancthon, who, with his
wife, was present, observed that the love
of parents for their children is an image
of the divine love impressed on the hearts
of men. God does not love the beings he
has created less than parents love their
HOME IN SORROW. I39
The next day, Luther followed all that
remained of his child to the grave ; and as
the coffin was lowered, he exclaimed : " Fare-
well, dear little Madeleine, farewell ! but
we shall meet again. Thou shalt rise again ;
shalt shine as the stars, yes, like the sun ! "
And then after a short pause, he continued:
" I am joyful in spirit, but oh, how sad in
the flesh ! It is strange to know she is so
happy in heaven, and yet to feel so sad ! "
Then turning to the mother, who was
weeping bitterly, he said : " Dear Catharine,
remember where she is gone ! she has made
a blessed exchange ! The heart bleeds ; it
is natural it should ; but the spirit, the im-
mortal spirit, rejoices. Happy are they
who die young. Children do not doubt;
they believe : with them all is trust, — they
fall asleep in Jesus."
" Some feelings are to mortals given
With less of earth in them than heaven ;
I40 HOME IN SORROW.
And if there be a human tear
From passion's dross refined and clear, —
A tear so limpid and so meek
It would not stain an angel's cheek, —
'Tis that which Christian fathers shed
Upon a pious daughter's head."
After the funeral, many friends came to
express their sympathy with the bereaved
parents. In answer to their words of con-
dolence, Luther said : " I thank you, kind
friends, for your sympathy ; but do not grieve
for me : I have given another angel to
heaven. Oh, that we may each experience
such a death ; such a death I would gladly
accept this moment."
To others, who addressed to him words
of comfort, he said : " No, no ; I am not
sad : my dear angel is in heaven ! "
Among the many compensatory and
comforting thoughts of Luther under this
great sorrow are those expressed in the
following paragraph :
HOME IN SORROW. I4I
" The fate of our children, and above all,
of girls, is ever a cause of uneasiness. I
do not fear so much for boys ; they can find
a living anywhere, provided they know how
to work. But it is different with girls.
They, poor things, must search for employ-
ment staff in hand. A boy can enter the
schools and attain eminence ; but a girl can-
not do much to advance herself, and is
easily led away by bad example, and is
lost. Therefore, without regret, I give up
this dear one to our Lord. Children die
without anguish ; they know not the bitter-
ness of death ; it is as if they fell asleep."
Over the grave of Madeleine was placed
a tombstone with her name, age, the day
of her death, and a text of Scripture.
Some time after, Luther composed a Latin
inscription, which was carved on a monu-
mental slab ; and which breathes a spirit
of subdued melancholy and resignation to
God's will :
142 HOME IN SORROW.
" I, Luther's daughter Madeleine, with the saints here
And, covered, calmly rest on this my couch of earth ;
Daughter of death I was, born of the seed of sin,
But by Thy precious blood redeemed, O Christ, I
Soon after the burial, he wrote to his
friend Justus Jonas : " You have no doubt
heard of the birth of my Madeleine into the
kingdom of Christ above. My wife and I
ought to think only of praising God for
her happy transition and peaceful end ; for
by it she has escaped the power of the
flesh, the world, the Turks, and the devil.
Yet nature is strong, and I cannot bear
this event without tears and groans, or, to
speak more truly, without a broken heart.
On my very soul are engraved the looks,
the words, the gestures of my obedient,
my loving child during her life and on the
bed of death. Even the death of Christ
* The Latin inscription is thus rendered in the " Conservative
HOME IN SORROW. 143
(and what are all deaths in comparison
with that ?) cannot tear her away from my
thoughts, as it should. She was, as you
know, so sweet and genial, so full of ten-
derness and love."
Luther never recovered fully from this
affliction. It struck him to the heart. He
looked upon it as an admonition of heaven ;
it was another thunderbolt. The first had
taken from him Alexis, the friend of his
youth ; the second snatched from him an
idolized child, the joy of his old age. From
this time all his letters are tinged with
melancholy : the raven wing of death was
ever fluttering in his ear.*
On receiving a letter from the Elector,
who wished him many years of a long life,
he shook his head, and answered his royal
friend : " The pitcher has gone too often to
the well ; it will break at last." One day,
*Audin's Life of Luther, page 486.
144 HOME IN SORROW.
while preaching, he drew tears from his
audience by announcing his approaching
death : " The world is tired of me and I
am tired of the world ; soon shall we be
divorced — the traveller will soon quit his
The after-life of Luther was touched
with a heavenly sadness. This affliction
fell upon his home as the evening shadow
falls, which at once hides the earth and un-
veils the sky. The serene and mellowing
light of heaven sanctified the earthly home,
as it now seemed nearer the heavenly.
There was still a subdued and solemn joy
in bereavement, as he thought of the two
little ones of his household not unclothed
but clothed upon. And he was happy in
the assurance that they were now nurslings
of heaven, and that soon he should meet
them there ;
HOME IN SORROW. I45
"Forever and forever,
Both in a happy home ;
And there to stay a little while
Till all the rest shall come."
This last phase of Luther's home-life has
the pensive charm and beauty of sanctified
sorrow. We see how Luther, when the
hand of God touched him, kissed that chas-
tening hand of his heavenly Father in meek
submission and unmurmuring trust. That
noble form, which neither kings, nor popes,
nor devils could bend, is bowed in tears
and sorrow by the sick-bed of his little
child. The brave heart that never quailed
before the thunders of Rome or the fires
of martyrdom is broken and tender as an
infant's beside the coffin of his little Made-
leine. And yet, in all that tribulation and
bereavement, there is not a word or a mur-
mur against the ways of Providence. He
is heart-sick and unspeakably sad, yet
I46 HOME IN SORROW.
sweetly quiescent in the divine love ; he is
cast down and disquieted, but not in de-
spair. And soon there is heard the old songs
of faith and hope, " For God, our Maker,
giveth songs in the night." And the song,
like the nightingale's, is all the sweeter for
the night. When all the instruments of
human melody are broken, there is a hand
that can touch the heart and waken the notes
of melody and praise. And Luther felt
the touches of that hand, and could exclaim
with the Psalmist, " I will sing of mercy and
judgment ; unto thee, O Lord, will I sing."
And so that home of the great Reformer,
in bereavement, is a touching illustration
of the Christian family in its sanctified sor-
rows and immortal hopes.
Sometimes sickness and sorrow will over-
cast our households with the shadow of
death. Yes, afflictions will come to us all ;
the spoiler will desolate our happy homes ;
HOME IN SORROW. I47
but Jesus, who was so near and precious to
Luther in his hour of trial, and poured the
light of the resurrection morn into his
weeping household,is our friend and Saviour ;
and will be with us with grace and sympa-
thy, and with words of peace and unutter-
able consolation. And when our loved
ones depart, we shall know that our Re-
deemer liveth, and that whosoever liveth
and believeth in him shall never die :
.... " And through the clouded glass
Of our own bitter tears, we learn to look
Undazzled on the kindness of God's face ;
Earth is too dark, and heaven alone shines through. ' '
Let that home of Luther in Wittenberg,
so beautiful in its summer joys and winter
pleasures, and so sanctified in its sorrows
of sickness and bereavement, be to us the
true ideal type of the Christian family.
Let our homes be Christian in form and
spirit. Let the whole economy of the
I48 HOME IN SORROW.
household be religious. Let the recreations
and pleasures of home be sanctified by
thoughts and hopes of the heavenly inheri-
tance. Let every morning unite the house-
hold as at the gate of heaven, and every
evening see it part with benediction as to
its final rest. Then shall the sweet com-
munions of the household be made immor-
tal by hopes of heaven ; and even the
broken links in the family circle will be re-
tained by Christian faith, and help to draw
God grant to each of us such a Christian
home while we live ; and when our time
comes to depart, may our last look of earth
be upon the faces we best love ; may the
gates that open into the heavenly city be
from a Christian home. And knowing no
better name for that world to which we go,
we will look up with longing hope and
tearful rapture and call it Home.
LUTHERAN PUBLICATION SOCIETY,
No. 42 NORTH NINTH STREET, PHILADELPHIA.
J. K. Shryock, Superintendent.
take pleasure in announcing to the
jjH3 Church and to the Trade in general, that
we have commenced the publication of
THE COTTAGE by THE LAKE."
Translated from the German of Martin Claudius, by
Miss R. H. Schively. "When the need is sorest God's
help is nearest."
16mo, Cloth, a Beautiful Frontispiece, 160 pages, $0.75.
" This volume will supply a want in our Sunday-school
Libraries, tD which the Religious Press has called attention
— books of a more devotional and evangelical character.
The Wilmer Family is charactei ized by all that makes the
' Schoenberg Cotta Family ' so univeiially attractive. * * *
We can confidently recommend this book, translated with
all elegance of diction, and with all the w urmth and pathos
of the German heart. * * * All classes will be instructed
and elevated by this kind of literature. It has channs for
the youthful and the mature, and will profit every one '* —
Mrs E. B. S.
"IN THE MIDST OFTHE NORTH SEA."
From the German of Marie Roskowska, by
J. F. Smith, Esq.
16mo, Cloth, Two Engravings, $0,75.
A story of life upon one of the lonely little islands (or
Halligen) lying in the North Sea off the German coast.
The loneliness and the dangers accompanying a residence
upon these barren, marshy spots, are dramatically described,
and the characteristics of the two families are painted most
naturally. The incidents of " Lost in the Fog," " The
Shipwreck," and "The Inundation," are full of interest;
and the earnest piety that pervades the narrative will recom-
mend it to any Christian family or Sabbath School. The
tale is full of excitement, and yet is anything but sensational.
"ANTON, THE FISHERMAN."
By Franz Hoffmann. Translated by Mrs. M. A.
16mo, Cloth. Three Fine Original Engravings, $0.85.
" A very interesting story of humble life, illustrating do-
mestic happiness, and the prevalence of industry, manliness,
and integrity — together with the providential deliverances
that sometimes occur in the midst of the trials that beset
the believing poor." — The Lutheran and Missionary,
"Anton, the Fisherman.' — "We call the specia? at
lention of the public to this beautiful book, just issued
by the Lutheran Board of Publication. It is from the
famous Hoffmann of Dresden, who has won a world-wide
fame as the writer of popular stories for the young. The
translation is so natural and graceful, that no one would
suspect its German origin. The book is in the best style
of book-making, and has elicited universal admiration.
Let the Church encourage our publications, with a prompt,
cheerful, and generous patronage." — Lutheran Observer.
"Rene, the Little Savoyard."
By Franz Hoffmann. Translated by J. F. Smith, Esq.
16mo, Cloth, Two Excellent Original Engravings, $0.85,
" I have just read with great pleasure, ' Rene,' in your
very attractive Fatherland Series. It is a brilliant little
story, and is well translated. The children (and their
parents) will be delighted with these pure and beautiful
books, which I hope may have the wide circulation they
deserve." Yours, C. P. Krauth,
"FRITZ; OR, FILIAL LOVE."
By Franz Hoffmann. Translated by M. A. Manderson
16mo, Cloth, One First Class Original Engraving, $0.65.
"A charming story, founded upon the life of one ol
Frederick the Great's generals. The healthy pious tone
that pervades the book, as well as the literary merit, should
recommend it to every family and Sunday-school Library.
We venture to say that no boy will read this pleasant nar-
rative without wishing to know m.re of Prussia's greai
York, Pa., Aprils 18*70.
"Please send me 'Cottage by the Lake.' The othe
volumes of the Fatherland Series I have. I am much
pleased with the books. If you publish a thousand volumes,
send them all to me, and draw on me for the amount they
cost J. H. Menges."
Lockport, April*), 1870.
" Since I have three of the Series you are publishing at
present, I would desire to have the first number — 'The
Cottage by the Lake.' This number you have not sent me.
Those you sent me I read with great interest, and am much
pleased with them, and trust they may be largely circulated.
" Yours, truly, M. IiRT."
Canton, 0., April 4, 1870.
" Enclosed find the amount of your bill for the ' Father-
land Series.' The books are very interesting, and my
children are delighted with them.
"Yours, L. M. Kuhns."
Harrisburg, April '7 , 1870.
* Your book entitled ' Fritz,' is all right. Go ahead ;
the more of that kind you publish the better.
" Youns, fraternally, G. F. Stelling."
Selinsgrove, April 6, 1870.
" I am glad to see you bringing out such nice, neat books.
You can send us one copy of all new publications until
otherwise ordered. Consider us standing subscribers.
" Yours, J. G. L. Shindel."
Frostburg, Md., April 6, 1870.
" * The Fatherland Series ' I am pleased with. They
compare favorably with any of the publications of the day
— are a credit to the Society.
"Yours, H. Bishop."
Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process.
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide
Treatment Date: April 2005
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